There is plenty of help online from comparison sites, big names, blog posts, reviews and forums regarding what to look out for and what not to accept in terms of pushy salesmanship and sloppy installation, but some people just seem to find the cowboys.
Choosing a reputable double glazing company is one of those tasks which catches some people out. When you choose to approach having your double glazing installation completed, it is always worth reading the small print on every piece of paper you are handed. You should not be afraid of asking for clarification, and if you still have concerns, many local solicitors and the Citizens Advice service will be able to help. Whether you are a home owner of many years’ standing or looking to have double glazing installed for the first time on your newly purchased property, it can be a daunting prospect to have to shop around and find quotes, deal with the salesmen (there are nearly always salesmen) and then have the disruption of a team of workmen in the house fitting the double glazing.
Big home improvement projects such as double glazing installation will cause enough physical upset to your house as it is. You don’t need them to cause financial upset as well, or even emotional upset when finding out that you have been bound by the small print on the contract. Before you sign anything, you should check that you’re happy with the terms and conditions, and be certain that you know your rights if things do go wrong. It might be worth starting off slowly and doing your research thoroughly, checking out suitable companies before you ask them for quotes and then comparing the services offered, the guarantees, any finance deals, and the general terms and conditions. Forums and review sites are useful for this kind of research – type in the name of the company and ‘review’ and sites such as TrustPilot and Feefo will pop up, as well as Netmums, MoneySavingExpert and reviewcentre, all of which have threads on the subject.
You should always make sure you know the answers to these questions when dealing with the double glazing installer of your choice:
• Can the company point you to anyone nearby who has used their services recently? Would the consumer be happy for you to go and ask them questions about the installation?
• What security standards does the double glazing adhere to? Can the company provide proof in the form of certificates?
• What accreditation does the company hold? Can you contact the trade body to check?
• Are the fitters direct employees or subcontractors?
• Does the company actually manufacture its own products to individual specification or is it merely a supplier of others’ ready-made wares?
• What length of guarantee is available on the frames, window furniture and double glazing?
• Are the sales staff salaried or paid commission-only?
• Does the firm have a showroom?
Nick Dardalis, writing on the Aluminium Trade Supply site in November 2014 lists six questions that consumers should ask double glazing installation companies as a minimum. Once you have the answers you need, you will be in a better position to decide whether the company is a reputable double glazing installer.